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How to Develop a Career Plan That Moves You Forward

Updated: Aug 16, 2022

Be honest about what you need at this point in your career. I learned more from my mistakes (have I told you about my brief advertising job in Chicago?) than the decisions I made right the first time; managing life's unpredictable gifts will make you a more empathetic, creative, and exciting person.

When my clients are considering a career plan, I recommend taking a week of exploration. When you're bogged down with surviving a bad day-to-day situation, it's easy to stop dreaming. When that happens, you lose sight of what will make your life better. You have to think differently. To be successful, you have to envision your life in the future.

Now is your time to get it done, and these five steps are all you need:

1. If money was no object, what careers would you consider? You must have identified many jobs that interest you at this stage in your life. Having your interest switch from one career path to another is normal.

If education and experience were not a barrier, what would you like more of in your life?

What are your professional goals?

Where can you focus your energy within your current organization if you need a transition?

Your career will continue to evolve as your life unfolds. Start with writing a list of those that interest you right now. What would you do differently today if you believed that your career goals would come true?

Tomorrow's careers are still being decided, so dream big and explore.

2. Set up informational interviews to learn more. When I was stuck, I spent a few weeks researching how other executives balanced the daily demands of leadership in their home life. I picked people with similar backgrounds and responsibilities as me-- I wanted to know how they managed their time and understand how their corporate cultures handled family structure.

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